Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya

Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya

It’s beach-reading season—and I have a can’t-miss recommendation. Spirits Eat Ripe Papaya, the debut novel of St. Mary’s College (Ind.) history professor Bill Svelmoe, is a hysterical account of the foibles of good-hearted, but sometimes naïve missionaries. I recommend the book for several reasons. First, it offers texture and empathy. I grew up in the [Read More...]

Picturing Pain

Southampton

Last week several dozen scholars of religion met at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom to discuss the global history of evangelicalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The conference, organized by Kendrick Oliver, whose research on religion and the space program you really must become acquainted with, was terrific. Papers ranged from [Read More...]

Campus Ministry in America: The Australian Connection

Missionary Aviation Fellowship

As the mid-twentieth century American evangelical renaissance bloomed, a whole host of evangelical ministries intent on engaging the world for Christ emerged.  Youth for Christ adopted trendy new methods to evangelize teenagers beginning in 1944, Mission Aviation Fellowship began serving missions in remote locations the year the World War II ended, and Fuller Seminary opened [Read More...]

An Appalachian Revivalist in Queen Victoria’s South Africa

Bishop_William_Taylor

In 1866 William Taylor, a renegade Wesleyan evangelist from the Appalachians, arrived in the south of Africa. A tall six feet with a long, scraggly beard that draped down over a barrel chest, Taylor was “a Methodist preacher of the old school.” He was “adept at charming his hosts, delivering folksy sermons, deflecting opposition, spinning [Read More...]

The Issue of our Day

This week I read a news article that broke my heart and called me to repentance. In the midst of the fight over the budget and debt ceiling, in the midst of the ongoing saga of the “Bling-Bling Bishop” in Germany, and in the midst of football season, most of us (myself included) have been [Read More...]

Hope for Revival in Britain?

My family and I just returned from two weeks in the U.K., and while we were there, several major British religion news events transpired. First, on a day we happened to be in Edinburgh, Church of Scotland delegates voted to allow gay ministers. Then, when we returned to London, came the appalling murder of a [Read More...]

American Evangelicals’ Global Vision Began in Korea

Guest Post by Miles S. Mullin, II, J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies, Southwestern Seminary Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27[1] The global vision of American evangelicalism began in an improbable [Read More...]

Two Anniversaries: Vatican II and the 95 Theses

Pope John XXIII who called Vatican II

Two noteworthy anniversaries are marked this month: the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, which occurred on October 11, 1962, and the 495th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, widely recognized on October 31, but transferred and celebrated by many churches as “Reformation Sunday.”  (This year it occurs on the 27th).  Admittedly, [Read More...]

“Tweet for Youcef”: Social Media and Religious Liberty

The happy news came this weekend that long-imprisoned Iranian Christian convert and pastor Youcef Nadarkhani had been freed from prison. I found out on Twitter, a fact that highlights one of the most fascinating aspects of this story. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have already played a role in an array of social [Read More...]

MISSIONS AND DEMOCRACY

We don’t normally look for major pieces about the history of Christian missions in the prestigious American Political Science Review, so it’s worth pointing out a fascinating piece in the most recent issue. Sociologist Robert Woodberry has an article there on “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” tracing the impact of Protestant evangelistic efforts on [Read More...]


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